GPA makes strides to modernize Guam's power system - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GPA makes strides to modernize Guam's power system

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The Guam Power Authority signed an agreement that will bring the island's renewable energy platform into the future while also reducing small power outages by more than half.  It's been three years in the making - a $35 million contract that will provide the island's power system with 40 megawatts of battery storage was signed by the Guam Power Authority and South Korean company LG CNS Monday morning.

"The investment will help alleviate system frequency outages and improve reliability by an estimated 77%," said Consolidated Commission on Utilities chairman Joey Duenas. He explained that for the average consumer, this means less of those pesky 5-15 minute outages. "So we're trying to get to the point if a big generator fails, we won't have to let anybody suffer - the energy storage will pick up the load," Duenas added.

The project includes the design, implementation, and interconnection of energy storage systems in Hagatna and Talofofo. The systems are expected to offset under-generation from generators or GPA's solar farm. GPA general manager John Benavente said more battery storage systems are anticipated for Guam's power system in the future, noting this is only Phase 1.

"Our plan," he described, "is also to look at battery systems that will store the energy in the day time, and then we will release it in the evening." He said while the road to 24/7 renewables may be long road forward, the island is making progress.So far GPA uses an estimated 5% of renewable energy and plans to increase that to 25% by 2021.

Duenas said, "With all of our plants, our goal is to provide better service to our customers, our ratepayers including our military customers and to keep the prices as affordable as possible."

The project is expected to be completed in May of 2018.

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